GoFundMe raises $87K for Berkeley hot dog vendor; Effort announced to get him a food truck
2:25 PM, Sep 25, 2017
2:34 PM, Sep 25, 2017
(KGTV) - A hot dog vendor who was cited and had $60 seized for operating without a permit outside a UC Berkeley football game received his money back and then some following a massive crowdfunding campaign.
Rigoberto Matias, also known as "Beto," was cited for selling hot dogs without a permit on Sept. 9 by a University of California officer, the moment captured on video that quickly went viral.
The man who filmed the event, Martin Flores, also set up a GoFundMe campaign that has since raised a total of $88,453.
"It’s unfortunate that there are strict rules to get a license or a permit for somebody like Beto or other vendors that they can legally be out there selling their food," Flores said during a presentation of a check for $87,921 to Matias on Saturday:
"...Why are we going to pick on a young man who's providing for his family," Flores said after commenting on other laws being broken on campus during football games. "This is about us continuing the conversation."
The GoFundMe has since been modified and kept open after organizers say they've learned Matias' dream is to own a food truck.
"We will keep the GoFundMe account open, our goal is to get Beto a food truck," Flores said during the check presentation. "That's his dream. I think we can do it.
"He's a hardworking man. He's a symbol of the hard laborers that go out on the streets and sacrifice themselves every day just to be able to provide for their family," Flores added.
Following the incident, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Scott Bidd issued a statement saying they, "have instructed our officers to monitor illegal vending outside our event venues. This action has been motivated at least in part by issues of public health, the interests of local small businesses and even human trafficking."
Bidd said at the time that he has assigned University of California Police Department to open an investigation into the incident as well.